What's Happening At Massbach Ridge Winery

Happy New Years!

A glass to the old and A glass to the new!

We will be open at both tasting rooms New Year’s Day from 11 to 5pm. Please drink responsibly.

You are going to love these new wines!

The time to release the first new wines of 2016 is here.

Vignoles is my favorite! We are almost too cold to grow this grape and have had a couple of years of very little crop. After a mild winter last year and hours of retraining the vines, we harvested an ample crop. I am very excited to have you try this semi-sweet wine filled with tropical fruit flavors.

Our Apple wine is always popular with our friends that like more mild wines. After an absence on the shelf, Apple is back! The cider we use to make this wine is from our neighboring town of Lanark. Cheers to Rolling Hills!

Last, but not least, Massbach Nouveau 2016 has been bottled and differs greatly from previous vintages. A blend of Foch and Marquette (a new northern grape) has a touch of sweetness and finishes with a cranberry note.

I am very excited for you to come out and sample these new wines! Let me know what you think.

Cheers my friends,
Peggy

Biggest Harvest in Massbach History

harvesting-2016 harvesting-frontenac-2016 Over 50 ton of grapes processed this past month! That’s a LOT of buckets!! Approximately 5,000 buckets!
A HUGE THANK YOU to ALL you helped; customers, charity organizations, friends and family.
Marechal Foch, St. Pepin, LaCrosse, Frontenac and Vignoles wines have filled the tanks to the brim.
Harvest was a little early this year. About 10 days ahead of most years. The main reaston is the hot August we received. The quality of grapes has been exceptional considering the rainfall we have experienced the past several weeks.
We are very excited about the vintages in the works and will be updating you on the status as the upcoming months pass.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
Cheers,
Peggy

Harvest is upon us!!

155160_10151154581602070_2047591370_nWe have started to make a dent into our 18 acres vineyard by picking Marechal Foch. We will be very busy during the next few weeks bringing in 2016’s vintage. The first 500 gallons of Foch juice may be a tad tart but the cherry, strawberry flavors typical of the wine are present and accounted for!

Memorial Music Saturday May 28th

Join us for a toast this Memorial Day in the vineyard, remembering all those who died in honor of their country. Tasting and wine by the glass, and snacks available. Entertainment by “Laura Rae and The Backroads Trio” from 1pm to 4pm Check them out here..
https://www.facebook.com/The-BackRoads-Trio-111666885513466/

Back Roads Trio

Reservations

Event reservations
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Grapes in Northern Illinois?! YES!

St. Pepin, Frontenac, Marechal Foch, and Vignoles may not be grape varieties commonly discussed in Wine Spectator but they may be someday.

These are the names of the grapes we grow in Northern IL.

These are the grapes that can withstand winter temperatures dipping down to -30F and further.

These are grapes that have been the building stones of our 12 year old winery.

Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and so on are varieties that would perish in our cold northern winters.  American Hybrids have emerged the last couple decades due to the dedication by amateur and professional viticulturists to develop varieties of wine grapes for the Mid-West.  Cheers to THEM!!!

Because of their years of trials, tests and labor,  we are able to grow red and white wine grapes that rival other parts of the wine world.

I speak of St. Pepin specifically.  Year after year, our estate-grown St. Pepin displays a whiff of citrus and cuts with a spray of green apple.  Presented beside certain Viogniers, you may not be able to tell the difference.  You might close your eyes and think you have been transported to another part of the world, but yet, you are close to home in the hills of Illinois.

As for the reds, we blend for our barrel aged wines.  Frontenac is the prominent grape in our barrels and for our rich semi-dry wines.

We have often joked, “Wine snobs- Welcome!”  Though not Cabernets, our reds provide structure and complexity with a uniqueness and versatility to make to make you proud of what you discovered –  LOCAL WINE!

This is a St. Pepin vine as it appears in July.

This is a St. Pepin vine as it appears in July.

Paint and Sip

Love Wine and crafting as much as we do?!

What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than joining us for a Paint and Sip event!

 

Massbach Ridge Winery
8837 S. Massbach Rd.
Elizabeth, IL 61028
We will be painting a wood Welcome Sign
$50/person, includes:
*One glass of wine
*One canvas
*Use of brushes, paints and pallets
*Step-by-step instruction

Limited Space Available. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.

To reserve your spot, please call 815-291-6700

Find up to the date info at our Facebook page!

 

March Pruning; Wine Sculpting

Pruning= cutting 90% of a grapevine’s growth from last year to develop a balance between quantity and quality.

It’s SPRING!  We are outside full-time during the month of March sculpting this year’s vintage of fruit.

Watch –Peggy Pruning a Frontenac plant

If the vines are left on their own, each vine will look more like a bush with all of last year’s buds growing another shoot.  As a farmer, this sounds okay.  More growth=more yield.  BUT, the quality of fruit would be terrible.

Here are a few of the issues if the vine was left unpruned –

  • Smaller bunches
  • Too much vegitation keeps the fruit from getting sunlight
  • Too much vegitation keeps moisture from dew and rain lingering too long promoting fungal growth… yuck
  • The many, many small bunchs will not ripen before the leaves fall

TAKE HOME –   No Pruning=Exponential Mess=Poor Wine Quality

Because of our committment to high quality wine, we take great care to created a quality/quantity balance on each vine.  Yes, each vine.  More fruiting buds will be left on a vigorous plant than one that show less growht fromthe previous years.

Well, enough yacking.  I’m going outside!!

Take care friends and come out soon to see the manicured vineyard.

Cheers,

Peggy